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Brits Spitting on Hands for Good Luck?

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Recently on Coronation Street, the long-running favourite British TV soap opera, two folks when wishing themselves luck in some endeavor each spit on their own hands - one first then the other.

As a frequent traveler to Britain I like to understand local customs - it is an important or more to me as seeing museums?

Is this a common thing and how did it develop - or is it the imagination of some Corrie script writer?

Thanks

PQ

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